One of the most original arrangements of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" is highlighted by the most adorably excited-to-be-here contestant to ever grace the "Voice' stage.
It was a quiet episode of “The Voice” as the Battle Rounds continued narrowing down the competition on each of the Coach’s teams.
We do have to give credit to Eric Who for making great television just by his sheer exuberance at everything. We saw him get excited about his partner and his Coach and the mentor and we imagine if they’d have kept filming him, he’d have been thrilled by the band, wardrobe, makeup, the audience, the lighting team and maybe even catering and security. Talk about relishing every moment of this experience!
It was also a night of young singers, with two 15-year-old kids having to hit the stage with older competitors, while a 17-year-old was paired off against the singing sisters The Marilynds. Not only does she have to step up in the biggest moment of her life, but she has to go against two sisters nearly twice her age who’ve been harmonizing probably longer than she’s been alive. Then, to make it even harder, they get a Bee Gees track -- you know, another famous group of siblings known for their tight harmonies. No pressure!
There were no Steals tonight, but one well-deserved Save that we have to agree with. But the Coaches also continued to disagree with us on some of these Battles, sending home the stronger performer time and time again. Are they trying to build the strongest teams or what?
Fair warning, since I'm safe at home, I'm probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Blake Shelton, Camila Cabello, Gwen Stefani, and John Legend. And just for fun, I'm going to rank the performances from worst to first and then see how they do as the season progresses.
(Team Gwen - “Home,” Michael Buble) Other than harmonies, we were only allowed to hear Daysia sing solo on this Battle. There was a timid maturity to her voice that was unexpected. It had a sweetness to it that felt wholesome and warm, but also gave us pause. Can she go deeper and have more grit? This song doesn’t really offer that, but we hope she’s got more layers to her.
Results: Daysia Wins
Eva Ullman vs. Ansley Burns
[[see SOLsong vs. Morgan Taylor below for video]]
(Team Blake - “Wildest Dreams,” Taylor Swift) Ansley didn’t even get a single note in the snippet we got of this Battle, which doesn’t seem particularly fair. There’s a reason she made it this far. Plus, shouldn’t you at least let us see why Blake made the decision he did? Eva did capture that angelic quality that Taylor put on this track. Blake’s comment was that experience mattered, so our guess is that Ansley sounded too much her 15 years young -- but it would have been nice to hear it for ourselves.
(Team Legend - “Die for You,” The Weeknd) There was a hint of more wildness from SOLsong in the short bit we got to hear of this audition, while Morgan had a real command of the melody and the emotional content of what she was singing. There was even a little cry in her voice that only enhanced the overall vocal experience.
Results: Morgan Wins
Benny Weag vs. Brayden Lape
(Team Blake - “Pretty Heart,” Parker McCollum) Neither of these guys really stood out in the blind auditions, and they didn’t really dazzle much during rehearsals, either. It wasn’t the most compelling Battle performance, either. This is a song with a lot of emotion behind it, and neither of them stepped fully up to that plate and delivered the lyric. Benny came closer, digging into some of the opening lines in a way that felt authentic. Brayden’s voice just stayed very sweet and innocent the whole time. He could have been singing about puppies and rainbows and it might have sounded the same, rather than singing about breaking a girl’s heart and questioning your own. They both have nice, and oddly similar sounding voices, but Benny’s has that hint of grit and depth that pushes him ahead. Blake loves Brayden’s natural country break, but the towering 15-year-old still sounds his age when he sings, which limits songs he can really sell right now.
(Team Camila - “Paparazzi,” Lady Gaga) Sydney was so inspired by Charlie Puth that she actually went to Berklee College of Music because she saw that that’s where he’d gone, so talk about excited to see him standing next to Camila. But that was nothing to Eric, who was excited about everything from his duet partner to the song to Camila and Charlie and really just being able to live his full life as his full self for the first time. Their voices are both so unique and individual and yet they have such great pitch that they nailed their harmonies throughout. Sydney’s lower register is mesmerizing, but every time Eric opened his mouth, the roundness and fullness of his tone pulled us in. His softer voice actually impressed us more as it’s so much harder to be alluring in that place, but he drew us in immediately. Then, boy can he belt on top of it. He definitely took the edge here.
Results: Eric Wins
The Marilynds vs. Parijita Bastola
(Team Legend - “How Deep Is Your Love,” Bee Gees) Parijita came into this with a bit of a handicap because she’s a lone singer paired up against a duet of siblings with that incredible harmonic power that only siblings can truly achieve. And yet, she was fearless in attacking the song and actually showed more of her capabilities than The Marilynds. Their harmonies were beautiful, but at times they almost felt like the backup singers to Parijita’s lead performance. She stepped up in a huge way, selling the heart of the song. Both artists are really compelling at what they do, so it would be sad to see any of them go, but there’s no denying that Parijita showed up in a bigger way.